I read a great blog post today from the Sexademic – http://sexademic.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/screw-critical-thought-blame-women-feminism-or-men/
Here is the Response I wrote:
THANKS! The times they are a changin’ indeed.
Masculinity (and Femininity) need a reset. I get very tired of listening to men a) blame women rather than take responsibility for their happiness, unhappiness, satisfaction, political station, job, etc. b) say and do things which reinforce damaging, violent and emotionally immature stereotypes about men.
I also get very tired of women who either a) blame men rather than take responsibility for getting what they want or creating the relationships they want or b) let men off the hook for being immature and emotionally stunted with statements like ‘boys will be boys’ or c) say and do things that reinforce damaging, psychically violent and emotionally immature stereotypes about women.
It’s a dance that’s been playing for a few tens of thousands of years. You’d think with these huge masses of grey matter, the lizard brain would be a bit more in check.
AND I also feel very strongly that the fundamental mistake is one of denial. We have collectively created a culture of taboos (political correctness could be an example) in which there are whole areas of personality, actions, thoughts and feelings which have been put into a deep dark hole. AND surprise, surprise, these archetypal demons locked in ‘unbreakable’ chains manage to find a way to escape and show up in all kinds of damaging ways in the culture. Gonzo porn, domestic violence, sexualized children, violent misogyny, misandry and homophobia, hypersexuality, women whose first and primary concern is sexual acceptability, men whose first and primary concern is denial of ALL that could be considered feminine. Men are no longer consciously taught to be mature, because there are few men who understand what that maturity looks like, or how to teach it. The same is true of women. And the lot of us are mostly taught by media, which as you pointed out is mostly made, produced and marketed by men. (the same immature men who were never taught otherwise)
Want to break the denial? Create conscious places for men and women to safely explore the taboos, let the demons out of the cages in a safe and conscious way (this does NOT mean enacting them on one another!) and learn what they have to teach us. We’re already letting them out … we’re just making the wildly irresponsible choice to not analyze, process and explore these taboos consciously. When we come to a level of self-awareness about what we hide in our taboo closets, the taboos lose their psychic magnetism – freeing us ALL up to create masculinity and femininity that will support us toward wholeness rather than diminishing us toward gendered mud-flinging.
The good news is that there are more and more men and women waking up, doing their work cleaning out the closets and creating conscious and more emotionally responsible cultures and relationships. They are isolated pockets most of the time, but growing.
And if the predictors work … it will only take about 1% of the population waking up to change the whole game. I think that the huge amount of yelling, fear and panic about this topic might indicate that we’re close to breaking through. I hope so.
For men – I recommend the ManKind Project as a way to start doing the work of taking responsibility for our lives. Cut the shit man. Time to take responsibility for yourself.